Finisher’s Medals

2 10 2007

Ah … it’s the Bling!  It’s all about the Bling!  Bling! Bling! Bling!  Proof that I did whatever!

Ok – when you sign up for events you usually can be assured of getting a t-shirt and your race number.  The t-shirt can be one of the technical material shirts or a regular one.  I’m kind of partial to a couple of mine, but the bummer is a lot of them refer to running and I don’t do that anymore … so I use them to wrap presents to friends.  At the event, you’re usually handed a ‘goodie’ bag.  The same thing happened when I used to skate … and the bag is full of advertising and whatnot from sponsors of the event.  I’ve found a few good things in there and hand stuff off to my neighbors.  Two important things to those of us who are not in the running for prize money are the post race party and the finisher’s medals.

Yeah – medals for finishing.

A guy I met was over at my house and saw race photos in my front bathroom and medals hanging around the neck of Berry – a stuffed animal bear head – in my living room.  He didn’t get it.  “This is a joke, right?  I think you should only get medals if you win.  Life isn’t fair and giving everyone medals just is stupid.”  Hum … not to me.

Each of those medals is a story and they’re fun.  I’ve got a huge one from Disney World – my first Marathon for Team In Training, January 2007.  There’s one from Belleview Chiropractic 5k, where I had friends there – I met my dear friend Sheila’s whole family and really got to know another dear friend Val … who won the whole thing came back to cheer me and her friends in … and realize I walk kinda fast.  The San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon where this native Northern Cali girl yakked over the San Diego Freeway a couple of times … and still finished a couple of hours behind Heather and Sheila. 

Finisher’s Medals are really important to those of us who are so close to the cut off time.  How they work is as long as you finish within the allotted time, you are assured a medal.  Simple as that. 

The hard part is when a race doesn’t have the right amount of medals or ‘loses’ boxes of them.  People who bust a personal gut to get to the end in the allotted time deserve to be treated with something special and respect.  Friends have had to badger races after the fact to get their medals.

The interesting thing was I didn’t really think about how important they were until I was coming back from the Disney World Marathon last year. 

While at Disney, I went to go cheer in some folks for the 1/2 marathon.  I was more or less flying solo, so I took the bus back to where we were staying.  A girl in Team in Training purple was icing her knee and very sad.  I asked if I could sit with her and she said “Well – you might not want to sit with me, I didn’t finish.”  Hu?  I cheered her up and she cheered herself up … she’d lost about 50 pounds and had gotten about 2/3 of the way through.  She gave it her all … but she had her heart set on the medal.  I got her to meet me for a soda pop in the restaurant back at the hotel complex … as I ran into the gift shop and got her a lanyard and a very cool huge medal thing … her favorite Disney characters were Chip and Dale … and they had one.  I explained to the gal at the counter what I was doing and she wrapped it up with a huge ribbon.  I brought it over to my new friend and she cried and laughed!  An hour or so later I ran into her and some folks from her TNT — two were wearing the huge Donald Duck medals proving they’d finished the 1/2 marathon, Kerry had her Chip and Dale … and the other two girls didn’t finish … but Kerry asked me to keep them company as she went into a store and made them personal Finisher’s Medals … W

What goes around, hu?

The story doesn’t end there.  I finished my Marathon, called my buddy Eriq from the finish line “Hello …” he said “Is this MARATHON WALKER AUNTIE DIZZY?!”  Cry, Cry, CRY!  After talking with my Mom and my friend Rosalie from the Rocky Mountain Road Runners … I got on the bus for the hotel.  When I was going out for the TNT victory dinner, Kerry said “Hey Lis – I got my Chip/Dale Medal … Where’s your Mickey?!”  I’d not thought about wearing it.  I ended up wearing it when I went downtown with one of my teammates … and was amazed at all the clinking I heard … clinking due to people wearing their Donald, Mickey and Goofy medals all at once … and waddling pretty severely after doing a marathon and a half in 2 days.  The next day, we were leaving and a couple of great fun gals from my chapter wanted to know where my medal was.  Theirs were allegedly going to be shipped.  I thought it would be embarrassing to wear a big old chunk of gold in the airport like a Rap Artist … until I got there and it was gold everywhere!

Beep, Beep, BEEP! go the medal detectors!

Finisher’s medals mean I DID IT and they’re tangible.  I remember when I used to look at my golds, silvers and bronzes from ice skating and would send them off to my grandparents.  I never thought I was good enough and people used to laugh at me for thinking they were special.  You know … if I ever run across the box they’re in … they’re going on Berry!

It’s time to be proud of myself!

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